Sound Music Suit Sensor project page 2  

Table of contents: 
Background:   What started it all? 
What will we do at the first meeting? 
How will we start everything? 
 How will the electronics begin to take shape?  
How will the sound get from the suit to the computer? 
How do you begin to fabricate Les Suit? 
 How do you organize and communicate a dizzying array of great ideas? 
 Ahh, could see we a sketch the electroniques? 
 How do you allow for idea expansion without getting lost in the idea ocean?  
How do you modify the idea list so members of the team know which ideas to spend time on?  
Electronics further defined 

What will we do at the first meeting? 

What needed to be done:  

Everything!   Exchange ideas.  Begin brainstorming.    

What was done:  
A rush of ideas.  The looming prospect that this project would be as much about designing the process as it is about producing a suit. 

 What was produced: 
The gratifying sense that there was a real commitment to the project from all three of us. 

The first set of notes (posted below) happened when Bobby and I met to discuss the electronics designs for the suit. 

 We have had two meetings since then, stay tuned for the notes and blog entries. 


 Hi Heather and Bobby,  

Here are ideas we hatched last time we met.   

 I have tried to arrange them in a way that will help you determine what I will need to buy and how it can best be made: 

 If you think you should be there to guide me then please suggest it. 

 I look forward to your feedback. 

 Let me know when you can get together to discuss.    

We should probably do it in phases: 

 Phase 1- Mock suit 

I will buy another cheap one, then we can mess around with it using temporary structures that we determine (snaps, wire runs, sensor pockets, etc.).  Try the ideas we come up with in a basic, quick way so we can tweak and hone it. 

The outline below should help us figure out what to try first. 

The outline below is arranged by design "issues"   that I know will need to be built into the suit. 

I put question marks in places where I need your design help. 

Please make additions to it, suggestions.   

I am not tied to any one way.   

I would like it to be a collaborative thing. 

Suit design Issues/solutions: 

 The current suit shows too much dirt: 

 - I need a color that hides dirt ( blue?  black?) 

 Sensors and implements need to be interchangeable (for repairs or change the kinds of devices for different compositions): 

 - Snaps of some type could be used on the suit and the implements. 

 - The snaps need to be strongly adhered to the suit.  Not sure what solution would work.  Not sure if they would rip the fabric?? 

 - Create pockets that various sensors could be slipped into???  See the brain dump below for kinds of sensors bobby and I came up with.   

 -Would there be pockets for the sensors on the suit or mobile pockets that I could slip the sensors into then snap on?  

Wire runs will go to a point then go to the amp: 

 - Have a sheath that goes around the perimeter of the suit so I can run wires to the point where they  

 Objects shift making the gestures less accurate: 

 - Have a tighter fitting one that does not go over clothes. 

Keep cool in the suit:   

 -Use lighter fabric with reinforced areas?    

 I don't mind the heat.  This isn't a big deal. 

Gloves are knit fabric that is loose fitting: 

 - Any solution for an inexpensive glove that we could put some snaps on? 

Effects Design Issues and solutions:  9brain dump from my session with bobby: 

 Approach to electronics: 

Two categories of objects: 

-Physical objects 

- think about affects you want then tell Heather how many sensors you want so you can do the effect) 

- sensors (electric) 

Things to get (electronics): 

 2 Arduino   (60)  1 on the suit (no fermata-just xbee)  1 receiving arduino (fermata so it can receive info and send it to pd friendly numbers) 

2 xbee wireless interface for arduino (60)  (possible a Bluetooth version) 

 wireless system for audio into i/o device 

 9-volt battery to power the suit based arduino arduino (radio shack 9-volt battery thing) 

 photo resistor ( 

 flex sensor  (15) 


 foot controller  for switches (project boxes or jewelry boxes) strip of buttons strapped onto a shoe 

 Things to get (suit) 

- fabric from yardage town (30) 


 Effect  1:  (pitch proximity makes intuitive sense) 

 Light emitter  photocell Theremin):  

light emanating from guitar (switch mounted on guitar  lends itself to musical off and on motion) 

 (photocell sewn into knee- light emitting(independent circuit with a flashlight like switch) 

 where do I want them? 

 Do I want a series of them? 

Effect  2: 

 Pressure sensor 

Effect  3: 

 contact mics in series around the suit 

 to pick up fabric sound 

     - quadrophonic sound for the contact mics (a wireless  

 Contact mic Piece idea: 

 one on each limb (then the room becomes an extension of your body) as the signal would go through a surround spatialized audio system around the room).    


list of sensors or resistors  (sparkfun): 

- flex sensor (on sleeve  or knee or hand)  (15) 

      - it can be assigned to pitch) 



Construction ideas: 

Stage one: 

 1 arduino, 2 usb cables to computer as a first test. 


  arduino memory configuration  (firmware can be changed) 

 using arduino with pure data  (fermata) 

 can xbee transfer fermata data wirelessly?   

 a way to turn effects on and off 

 a way to change parameters (resistor type things) 


 How important is the on off mechanism 

   Is it a part of the flow of hinges 

   do I need any controls on the suit at all 

 should I have one on off capability. 

 Do you just use thresholds for on and off instead?